I am the Lightkeeper.
I claim no special skill or training.
I did not build the lighthouse, or the light.
It is my duty, my responsibility, to keep the lamp lit
For those whom I have not met and may never meet.
I am not a sailor.
Don’t know how to hoist the mainsail or tack to the west.
I am not a whaler.
Have never thrown the harpoon, know nothing of the harvest of oil.
I am not a shipwright.
Can’t calculate her draft or build a transom.
I am not the Captain.
Cannot plot our course or stare down the dangers.
I know only darkness pierced by the beacon.
I know this craggy point like the lines on my face.
I know the high and low tides, the summer storms, winter’s fury.
I know the cries of the shipwrecked, calling into the night.
I know of rocky shores and the ocean’s rage.
I know of smashed and abandoned skeletons
Of ships piloted by
Those that did not see.
Did not see the shore.
Did not see the waves crashing and foaming at the bluff.
Did not see the light.
“Here! Here is the light!” I shout at the
Top of my lungs only to have my calls
Drowned out by the roaring surf.
I am only the lightkeeper.
Despite my bellowing and tears
I cannot save those
That will not see the light.
I cry at the dawn, as I douse the light,
For those that will never see it.
Couldn’t we shine?
I’m rolling all my Golden Moments into one.
Gonna shine like the sun,
One last summer day.
Shine like the lighthouse,
One last summer night.
“Lighthouse” – James Taylor